Artists worked to complete the commissioned mural at Rotary Park on Friday, Jan. 25. The artists were reported to police as suspected vandals on Jan. 22.

[Photo by Zach Tilford / Moab Sun News]

The City of Moab and the Moab Arts and Recreation Center announced that the first spray-painted mural has been completed in Moab in the days following multiple calls to police about the artwork.

Local artists Ronin and Sanji were painting the new mural on the upper bathrooms at Rotary Park, 680 S. Mill Creek Drive, when Moab City Police officers arrived on Jan. 22. Despite the public’s concern for vandalism, the officers were informed that the graffiti is commissioned artwork through the city’s arts department.

Moab City Police followed up with a public notice and a photo of the mural on its Facebook page on Jan. 22 and wrote that it had received “several calls about people painting graffiti onto the bathrooms at Rotary Park.”

The police department advised the public that the work would continue for several days and include painting on all sides of the restroom. The artists will also be working on commissioned work at the bike park on 500 West, the police department said.

The Moab Arts and Recreation Center, along with the City of Moab, issued a press release on Tuesday, Jan. 29, but did not mention the police’s response.

Artist Ronin is an experienced muralist, having completed murals all over the U.S. Ronin and Sanji collaborated with the Moab Arts and Recreation Center (MARC) staff to create the mural for the Moab community at Rotary Park, the press release said.

“Moab is and always will be a community of beautiful energy,” Ronin said in the press release. “Before actually reaching out to create in this majestic land of ancient energy, I was touched by the spirit of this place. A goddess of love and nourishment for each person that entered this land.”

Ronin said that when it came to creating, “I decided to show people how reflective art can be if you open your soul to absorb it. This is how ‘The Goddess of the Moonflower’ [the figure in the mural] was born.”

The double-artist mural was artist Sanji’s first commissioned mural, and final touches were made on Saturday, Jan. 26.

The MARC said it is supporting a variety of artistic styles through public art in the community. The MARC staff is working with local nonprofits, businesses and individuals to offer a diverse variety of programming and public art. Anyone interested in being involved or volunteering is asked to call the MARC at 435-259-6272 or visit for more details.

Rotary Park artists mistaken as vandals, police respond